Thursday 4 June 2009

Leaving Cert Twittered!

As soon as English paper 2 was opened in error yesterday in an exam centre in Co. Louth it was obvious that the paper was irreversibly compromised. In the age of social networking and text messaging the contents of the paper were nationwide as soon as the first students left the exam.
The question that I want to ask is this: Why is the reserve paper not more readily distributable? Surely working overnight this should have been possible! The resulting trauma to students is inexcusable. Listening to the radio this morning I hear that the 2 papers were the same colour! Perhaps the department might spend as much time on fine tuning the state exam system as they do churning out a steady stream of glossy brochures which serve little purpose but to add to landfill!

5 comments:

Stephen said...

The exam papers are held in quarantine in bags which are also put into boxes until the morning of the exam. Both Paper 1 and Paper 2 were a morning exam. Any exam scheduled to take place in the morning is sealed in a green bag with 'maidin'! labelled along it. I think thats how they got mixed up! 24 hours since I discovered, and I'm only starting to calm down now lol. Anyway on the bright side, I get to be one of the first ever people to sit the Leaving Cert on a saturday!
Like your blog by the way.

Stephen Neill said...

From one Stephen to another - thank you for both the explanation and the kind comment.
Stephen

Póló said...

I heard the Minister for Education state on radio that the opening of the envelopes/containers of the papers is subject to checking by 3 different people that it is the correct paper and then the Superintendent is further reminded on the remaining cover to check again that it is the correct paper.

Sounds like complacency at local level to me. Also it is reported that the problem was not immediately notified to the Exam Commission, and that this was done by a concerned parent later in the day. This delay precluded the distribution of the alternative paper in accordance with the original schedule.

Time will tell how much of this is correct, but I would be slow to blame the central authorities in this case until these matters are clarified.

Póló said...

George Hook, on Newstalk, has just raised the difficulty now facing any Jewish pupils from the rescheduling of the exam for Saturday.

stokkapeoplepc@yahoo.com said...

I find it strangely reassuring that the woes of high stakes testing are not exclusive to the USA. Tracie Stokka